Saturday 5th March sees us involved with two events, both at Fearon Hall in Rectory Road, Loughborough. We start off in the morning with our second “Repair Cafe” event running from 9.30am to 11.30am. Then from noon to 2pm we have the first public Utilise Social Kitchen food reuse event.
For those that might have missed out on the first Repair Cafe last year, the idea is to bring people with broken items destined for landfill together with volunteer DIY tinkerers to see what we can repair. We’ve got repairers who can sew, sharpen, fix computers, maintain bikes, tweak vacuum cleaners and who’ll have a go at mending most things. We need you to bring things that need fixing!
The repairs are free (though we’ll happily accept donations to help pay for the room hire!). There are no guarantees, and each repair usually has to be done in 20-30 minutes (so that we can get as many items looked at as possible). The person bringing the item for repair has to stay with it (no dropping items off and then picking them up later!), partly so they can explain issues to the repairer, and partly so that they can see how the repairer tackles the problem. This means that they can pick up handy tips and learn repair skills themselves.
For items we can’t repair, either because we lack the skills, parts or time, we’ll also have a list of local repair companies that may be able to help instead. Whilst waiting for a repairer to become free, people are encouraged to have sit down with a drink and biscuit – that’s the cafe part of Repair Cafe. Doors open at 9.30am and we’ll have to stop taking in repairs at 11.30am.
Immediately after the Repair Cafe is over we’ll rearrange the tables (literally!) ready to host the first public Utilise Social Kitchen project event. This project aims to capture unwanted food from local shops, market traders and restaurants that would normally be sent to landfill, and turn it into freshly prepared meals served to the community in a social venue.
There are no prices listed on the menu. Instead, you pay what you feel the meal is worth and you can afford. People are encouraged to “pay forward” a little more where they can afford to, in order help cover the costs of meals for others less able to pay themselves. Nobody compares who has paid for what, and we all share the same meals.
Part of the fun of the social kitchen is seeing what the team can create from the waste items they’ve managed to acquire before the event. Thus the menu is only announced on the day itself. The initial “test” event a couple of weeks ago was very well received by the invited guests, so we’re looking forward to a tasty meal on Saturday! Diners also get to meet up with friends and neighbours for a great value social event. Orders for the meals start being taken from noon, and the cafe is open until 2pm.
If you’ve just had something repaired, why not stay for lunch too?